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Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld 

01/31/2012 Categories: adventure sci fi steampunk suspense

Deryn Sharp is a girl who has always been fascinated by heights and, more importantly, the air. She masquerades as a boy and enters the Airforce, soon becoming a daring and valued airman. Meanwhile, Prince Aleksandar of Austria suffers a shock when both his parents are murdered overnight, and he must escape his country to seek safety elsewhere. In a world where hybrid creatures and giant robot-like weapons fight in an ugly World War I, the two struggle to survive until their fates collide...

This was my first steampunk book, and it was both weird and fascinating how the lines between future and past were blurred. The inventions made by the Clankers and creature-weapons made by the Darwinists astounded me. I also loved the pictures included in the book. 

Anyone who likes steampunk, historical fiction, slightly futuristic genres, battles, and a mindboggling storyworld, you might want to check this one out. Be careful, this book is pretty long! But if you love it and can't wait for more, this is the first in a trilogy. The sequels are Behemoth and Goliath.

Erica, 16

Rating: 

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Heist Society 

by Ally Carter
01/31/2012 Categories: adventure masterminds romance spies

Kat Bishop's family has an unusual trade: they steal famous and valuable pieces of art for a living. Torn between wanting to live a normal life and loyalty to her family, Kat decides to leave the "family business" to enter a normal boarding school. However, when her father is wrongly accused of stealing a powerful man's paintings, she is jerked back into her family's world as she tries to find the missing paintings--with her father's life on the line.

I loved this book! Kat and the supporting characters that arrived later on in the story (especially Hale, her love interest) were unique and likeable. The plot had me on my toes the entire time!

If you are a girl who likes books with thieves, smart teens, romance, or anything similar to a "spy genre", read this book! If you're a Gallagher Girl fan, also by Ally Carter, you'll definitely love Heist Society.

Erica, 16

Rating: 

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The Case of the Left-Handed Lady 

by Nancy Springer

Left-Handed Lady coverIn this sequel to the young adult spinoff of the classic Sherlock Holmes (the first book was The Case of the Missing Marquess), Enola Holmes, the unconventional and resourceful little sister of the greatest detective in London, discovers yet another strange case while on her escape from her older brothers. As she solves the mystery, she must also dodge her brother's observant eye as their paths cross in London.

This book's language had a really "classic" taste to it, but it was easy to read! It wasn't too long and was the perfect book for light perusal. The plot had me hooked, although I did get a little scared at some points.

Anyone who likes mysteries and/or classics will enjoy this. The series is geared more towards girls, with Enola as the heroine of the story.

Erica, 16

Rating: 

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Luka and the Fire of Life 

by Salman Rushdie
01/31/2012 Categories: adventure fantasy mythology

Luka coverLuka, along with his pets, dog and bear, set off into a magical world created by his father, Rashid Khalifa. This story revolves around Luka's journey as he retrieves the "Fire of Life" in order to save his father's life.

Luka and the Fire of Life is one of those novels that has you completely enthralled in the story. The novel incorporates several figures from various mythologies along with references to the tangible world. 

I would recommend this book to anyone 10 and up that enjoys fictional adventures/travels. It's a great read that emphasizes a son's love for his father. All in all, it's a really great book!

Gillyn, 15

Rating: 

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Eragon 

by Christopher Paolini
12/06/2011 Categories: adventure fantasy suspense

Eragon coverEragon, a teenager in his prime, finds his peaceful life as a farmer boy being ripped apart as he discovers a valuable--and rare--dragon egg. Going headfirst into danger, against the government itself, he becomes a Dragon Rider and sets off to find a place of belonging, across the desert and into a land of the unknown. 

I liked this book! Eragon wasn't a perfect person and was sometimes reckless and annoying, but he was charismatic in his own way as he grew throughout each obstacle in the story. The only flaw I see in the book is that most of the plot and "world" is taken from Star Wars and the Lord of the Rings.

I would recommend this book to anyone grades 6 and up. Paolini's books are long, but if you can read Harry Potter or are at a higher reading level, you will enjoy Eragon.

Erica, 16

Rating: 

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Artemis Fowl 

by Eoin Colfer
12/05/2011 Categories: adventure fantasy masterminds

Artemis Fowl coverHe's rich, he's smart, he's evil, and he's only twelve years old. Artemis Fowl, an Irish mastermind-slash-millionaire, embarks on an impossible journey to uncover the hidden world that nobody knows about: the land of the fairies. Is he crazy? Maybe. But he might be on to something.

My initial reaction was that it was funny, in a sarcastic "I can't believe he said that" kind of way. The plot is fairly new, and the characters are portrayed in a way that is enjoyable; although I couldn't follow the storyline sometimes, it was overall a good book, but it didn't make me want to rave about it.

I would recommend the book to fantasy lovers or people who like a good dose of evil-mastermind-protagonist in their reading rituals. However, readers beware: the series sours after around the 4th book, The Eternity Code, so be prepared.

Erica, 16

Rating: 

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